People Taking Your Skill For Granted???

Decorating By mrskilgore Updated 29 Apr 2013 , 11:09pm by mrskilgore

mrskilgore Posted 27 Apr 2013 , 10:22pm
post #1 of 15

I know this may have been mentioned before, but I personally want to know; how do you prevent yourself from being taken advantage of?!! I have had plently of family members, friends and even church family ask for me to do or create something specific for them or an event not knowing the amount of time and energy I have to put into it in addition to working a 40+ hour a week job and tend to my own home.  How do you try to give those close to you the same product and services you would a customer off the street without them taking advantage of you? Does anyone have a system as far as charging or discounting services or cakes to specific people close to you?

14 replies
Norasmom Posted 27 Apr 2013 , 10:55pm
post #2 of 15

You just say no.  If it upsets some of your friends, then they are not true friends.  

 

No one can take advantage of you without your consent.  If it makes you uncomfortable to say no to those people who are close to you, you can always make up an excuse, such as you have another order to fill or you will be away, or, the real deal, which is you have a full time job and household to maintain!

 

 For my very nearest and dearest friends, I will drop off a few cupcakes on their birthdays if I have some extras.  For closest family I charge nothing, but they usually insist on paying me. at least for ingredients.  For church, I make something using extra ingredients I have on hand.  I made adorable cake pops with leftover cupcakes and leftover candy melts from a previous order.  

Jewelers don't give diamonds away for free,  ...and beautiful cakes are like diamonds.

rpaige Posted 27 Apr 2013 , 11:52pm
post #3 of 15

Sadly, I have had to deal with the same issues.  Hobby bakers make no money and everyone is stunned that you can not produce seven tiers of towering perfection for free and do it in an hour ("can you get it to make bubbles like Cake Boss?")  I recently visited a doctor's office where they make you watch a video describing the surgical procedure in order to keep you fully informed.  I'm thinking that is what I'm going to require before each cake order!  Set up a video camera, film the entire process from start to finish and make everyone watch my informative video.  Knowledge is power!

 

I love making my simple cakes so I'm not complaining about trying to bring joy with my small efforts but I am learning that having a spine like a shrimp is not helpful.  I have to be realistic about my time, realize their requests are unrealistic and say "no" sometimes - with no guilt (which has been very hard for me).

costumeczar Posted 28 Apr 2013 , 2:25am
post #4 of 15

Learn to say "no" and don't let someone guilt you into doing it. Give your mother and your grandma free cakes, everyone else can pay full price :)

owatto Posted 28 Apr 2013 , 7:36am
post #5 of 15

AI have used my boyfriends gopro to do timelapse of a few cakes, I posted them on my facebook page and made sure my friends and family counted how many times the sun went up and down!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=vb.403635099683021&type=2

mcaulir Posted 28 Apr 2013 , 8:42am
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by owatto 

I have used my boyfriends gopro to do timelapse of a few cakes, I posted them on my facebook page and made sure my friends and family counted how many times the sun went up and down!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=vb.403635099683021&type=2

That's fantastic. Going to investigate my video camera to see if it does that.

tsal Posted 28 Apr 2013 , 9:38am
post #7 of 15

I feel the same way and have been guilted into cakes, but have decided to put my foot down.  No one is crying for you when you're up at all hours working on a cake and sacrificing precious sleep and family time.  I have already turned down a couple of cakes by saying, 'I just don't have the time anymore.' 

 

People accept it and if they don't, well too bad.  They don't really care that you're spending hours and hours on their cake, so why should you care if they're temporarily offended.  It will take less time for them to get over it then for you to produce a cake!

lomfise Posted 28 Apr 2013 , 11:44am
post #8 of 15

I too have a 40+ job that demands all of my time energy throughout the week, so have made a few rules to avoid the scenario you've described, though I have to say that my family is very good at not making cake-demands on me.

 

1. If I offer to make the cake, then I pay the ingredients - if someone asks me to make a cake for them, then they pay for the ingredients. There are only two exceptions to this rule and that is my mother and father (who often pay me anyway), to everyone else this rule is not up for discussion.

 

2. I don't make cakes for a colleague's friend's grandmother or my friend's husband's boss, I only make cakes for people I personally know. I have not as yet met someone who doesn't understand and accept this when I explain that caking is only my hobby and I don't want to spend every single weekend making cakes without a profit for people I don't know.

 

3. My time is my own; not my aunt's, not my best-friend-since-school's, not my colleague's or anyone elses, and if I'm made to make a cake without really wanting to, then it's not going to be good, because my heart isn't in it.

 

4. And lastly a rule I haven't as yet had to put to use, but have added thanks to all I have read on CakeCentral; a true friend respects a no, even without an excuse as to why I don't have time/want to make a cake.

 

Hope this helps thumbs_up.gif

rpaige Posted 28 Apr 2013 , 1:26pm
post #9 of 15

owatto, the GoPro is a great idea - good picture too.  My kids ride motocross and both have wanted a GoPro to place on their helmets.  I, of course, have said no because of the expense.  However, it might just pay for itself if I also used it for my cakes and the "instructional video!" 

 

It is all about having value and not allowing intimidation or "attitude" from supposed friends and family.  Their hurt feelings will deflate faster than my swollen feet and ankles after standing in a kitchen for 12 hours. 

 

I have been investigating donating cakes to a battered women's shelter.  One cake on the first of each month if there are any birthdays that month.  I want to do cakes that bring me joy and that allow me creative license.  Those cakes would be scheduled without surprise and drama.  Might just bring a smile where a smile is needed.

planetsomsom Posted 29 Apr 2013 , 7:21pm
post #10 of 15

Baking has become a sore topic for me as late... I'm pretty sure I've convinced myself that I hate it, but maybe it isn't true? All I know, is I paid $2500 tuition, $700 for tools/books, $800 for transportation, and got up at 4:30am for a year while earning a pathetic $500/month with the hope of getting out of my crappy part-time job. But afterward, no one wanted to hire me so at that crappy part time job I stayed.

 

But let me tell you, my employers benefitted from my efforts by adding occasional baking orders to my regular duties. Friends/family got their birthday and wedding cakes at a huge discount because I can't legally charge them professional wages. Coworkers and dear spouse circle around me like sharks, anticipating the first mistake, wishing for me to fail so they can eat what I cant use (or just take cupcakes out of pure selfish entitlement). I definitely feel like everything related to baking is fun for everyone else except for me.

 

Said no to a wedding cupcake order from a former coworker, but I feel kind of bad about it still. It's been nearly a year since I baked anything.

AZCouture Posted 29 Apr 2013 , 7:32pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

Learn to say "no" and don't let someone guilt you into doing it. Give your mother and your grandma free cakes, everyone else can pay full price :)

Absolutely. I wonder how many of those friends and family give the decorator a discount on whatever their particular services are? 

Vista Posted 29 Apr 2013 , 7:43pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by owatto 

I have used my boyfriends gopro to do timelapse of a few cakes, I posted them on my facebook page and made sure my friends and family counted how many times the sun went up and down!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=vb.403635099683021&type=2

I LOVE this.  I am going to share this on my facebook page!

auntginn Posted 29 Apr 2013 , 7:58pm
post #13 of 15

Its all in the guilt trip they are putting you thru.  I think you can see that from the other post.  People will do to you what you allow.  My daughter tried that for about 3-4 years.  Yes I said years.  Always for her family (which are my ex-inlaws) or friends.  The more you say NO, the better it gets.  Just like you build a reputation for the kind of work or the taste of your cakes, you build that same reputation with what people can ask you to do.

 

 

In fact when they ask me and I know they are fishing for a free cake (cause I already know who they are) I double the price in the quote and tell them I will "Let them have it for half price" since what they really want is a free cake they never mention it again.  In reality "Just Say No" is the best policy 

mrskilgore Posted 29 Apr 2013 , 11:06pm
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by owatto 

I have used my boyfriends gopro to do timelapse of a few cakes, I posted them on my facebook page and made sure my friends and family counted how many times the sun went up and down!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=vb.403635099683021&type=2

Thanks for this, I am going to have to look into this!

mrskilgore Posted 29 Apr 2013 , 11:09pm
post #15 of 15

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all your responses! Very helpful indeed! I do have to learn how to say those magic words!

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